Bottoming Out: Recap of Match Day 31

By Kyle Basedow

Match Day 31 is to the Barclays Premier League as the ticking time bomb is to the hero trying to save the world.

Basically, time is running out for everyone. The teams at the bottom of the table like Burnley, Queens Park Rangers, and Leicester City are fighting to get out of the relegation zone while Manchester City, Liverpool, Southampton, and Tottenham are fighting for the final Champions League spot.

This weekend saw the intensity kick up a notch with one or two shocking results while other games left us wanting more from both sides. That being said, here is a breakdown of some of most important games:

Arsenal 4, Liverpool 1

A few weeks ago, Liverpool and Arsenal were the hottest teams in the BPL. Both had impressive records in the league since the turn of the year, with Liverpool going 8-0-2 in the ten games leading up to their duel with Manchester United two weekends ago. Arsenal had a similar stretch, picking up eight wins and two losses.

The good run of form for Liverpool ended when they lost to Manchester United. It’s hard to say that they self-imploded but that’s almost what it seems like. They’ve completely fallen apart, looking totally outclassed by both Manchester United and Arsenal.

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Arsenal, on the other hand, have looked great since their loss to Tottenham in early February. They dismantled Liverpool in the first half on Saturday, going into the half with a 3-0 lead thanks to goals from Hector Bellerin, Mesut Özil, and Alexis Sánchez, all in the last 10 minutes of the half.

Liverpool managed to pull one back after a Jordan Henderson penalty kick but in truth the game was never close. Olivier Giroud continued his hot streak and wrapped up the scoring for Arsenal with a goal in stoppage time when the game was already out of hand.

Swansea City 3, Hull City 1

One glance at this game and it looks to just be a matchup of below average teams but in reality, it is a battle to avoid relegation. Hull City have been in the BPL for almost two full seasons now and are looking very much like a side that is floundering for 17th place.

Swansea, who started the season with three straight wins, have now fallen back to Earth after selling their star forward Wilfried Bony. While Swansea isn’t in the relegation zone (or even close to it), they have an outside shot at qualifying for the Europa League next season, making even game that much more important.

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Hull City actually looked as good as you can look in a losing effort last week, nearly stunning league leaders Chelsea by scrapping a point. This week, however, Hull just looked dreadful.

Swansea jumped out to a two goal lead and never looked back. Hull City did manage to score on a right-time-right-place kind of goal but whatever hope they had was quickly extinguished when David Meyler was sent off for a reckless tackle against a Swansea player.

The loss puts Hull firmly in danger of dropping into the relegation zone should they lose anymore games while Swansea look to have all but secured a top of the table finish.

Crystal Palace 2, Manchester City 1

If stop what you’re doing right now and look over the Atlantic Ocean, you might be able to see the wisps of smoke that are coming from Manchester City’s Ethiad Stadium as they watched their title hopes go up in flames.

While Manchester City was never the outright favorites to win the league this year, they were certainly picked to finish in second and maybe give Chelsea some competition at the top spot.

Their game against Crystal Palace was a combination of their aging team trying to be young again and a series of bad breaks.

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City couldn’t seem to get the ball in the goal in the first half and this came back to bite them when Glenn Murray scored off a rebounded shot to put Crystal Palace ahead. There was some controversy involved here as the original shot taker, Scott Dan, appeared to be offsides when the ball was played yet there was no call by the official.

After converting a beautiful free-kick goal, Palace was up 2-0. City could only manage to pull one goal back into it as Yaya Toure scored one of his trademark “My right leg is a cannon” goals.

This loss essentially leaves City with no hope of winning the league and will now have to fight to keep their place in the top 4.

Other Results:

 

Burnley 0, Tottenham 0

Burnley will be happy to come away from this game with a point seeing as their next few games are against the other big teams in the league. Burnley must win at least three of its remaining seven games if it hopes to stay in the Barclays Premier League another season.

Manchester United 3, Aston Villa 1

Manchester United continues to produce goals of high quality, hitting their stride at the right point in the season.

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West Bromwich Albion 1, Queens Park Rangers 4

A big win for QPR as they struggle to get out of the relegation zone.

Chelsea 2, Stoke City 1

Chelsea never seem to stop winning, do they?

All stats and info rom ESPNFC.com unless stated otherwise.

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